Tuesday, November 09, 2004
First and briefly, I survived my first night of strenuous exercise in over a month. I would like to point out two things briefly: 1) As much of a drag it was to have my class go from independent to health-club-included, it's hard to complain about air conditioning and ample parking. I will miss the rodents and giant spiders, though. 2) I am not, in fact, dead. I'm not even sore. Sure, I have this nagging ache in my right leg that is probably a blood clot formed by one solid month of sitting perfectly still in the exact same position that will travel to my lungs and kill me in my sleep tonight, but everything else feels fine.

And now for something completely different.

I don't want you people to get the wrong impression about my children. Yes, of course they do things that are adorable and wondrous and noteworthy. They mispronounce and misunderstand things with often comical results. Who am I kidding, it's Family-fucking-Circus around here most days. At the end of the day we all hold hands and sing showtunes, but we replace all the swear words (no matter how slight! "Darn" is a gateway curse, a one-way ticket to "cocksucker") with the word "Jesus".

All that said, there are probably lots of good reasons why you shouldn't strangle your children. There are legal and ethical arguments against it probably, but mostly you have to go out and buy 5 turtlenecks to get them through the school week.

It's helpful to recognize sometimes, though, that the things they might do to inspire the strangulation urge are not their fault at all, but rather the influence of a cruel, pitiless society bent on crushing their individuality in the name of lifeless conformity. Of course I'm talking about Kindergarten.

Recently it's been the acquired playground vocabulary that's been stimulating my annoyance gland (it's just to the left of the spleen and secretes--oddly enough--Billy Corgan's Voice directly into the bloodstream). Yesterday it was "Liar pants on fire" that he brought home for the enlightenment of his two younger brothers. The one I really just can't stomach is the "Neener neener neener".

Of course there are variations on the "Neener neener" from region to region in this country and, indeed, throughout the world, but I think most of you know what I'm talking about.

After the spasm of involuntary rage came and went (to the tune of Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm"), I thought "Kids still say that shit?"

As disappointed as I was/am that kids today can't come up with any new material (that's what hip-hop is for), I guess it's not their fault. I'm sure it wasn't new when I was spouting the same nonsense and tempting my parents with the urge to strangle me. I imagine from the earliest days, when humans still roamed in scavenging packs across the Serengeti, staving off lion attacks (this is before converting lions to Jesus was a viable option), they would pen their children together for the sake of safety and immediate portability. And amongst those children, one expressed his or her displeasure with another and for the first time the response was given: "I know you are, but what am I?"

And then they were all stampeded to death by rampaging water buffalo.

But their tradition survives to this day. The kindergarten playground is the site of social transmission of language the same way dance clubs are the sites for social transmission of chlamydia. It's a global pandemic that can never be stopped. I suppose I'm going to have to learn to live with it.

And then I had a second realization, something I remembered from my kindergarten days: he's probably also out there swearing like a Gallagher brother in between trips down the corkscrew slide.

At least I hope he is.

A dad can dream.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 6.8


Haha Pop, glad to hear you survived your workout. You have be strong and healthy to keep your blog going, you know. As for the kids, they don't know what they're learning is old as Methuselah; it's new to them. Much like all those song from the 80s that I didn't know were cover songs until much later ("Wide World" by Maxi Priest, "I Fought the Law" by The Clash, and "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell come immediately to mind). Now I roll my eyes whenever I hear another band du jour covering an 80s song, but hey, it's new to some snotty teenager somewhere so what can you do?
You can hit them over the head with something heavy, that's what you can do. Something metal preferably, but wood will do in a pinch.
Haha, that's what I like about you, Pops--you're a doer, not just a rollover-and-sigher like me :)
Oh yeah, speaking of 80s songs covered by talentless modern teeny-bopper hacks, Britney just put out (no pun intended) her version of talentless 80s teeny-bopper hack Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative".

Nobody knows why.

Have you heard it yet? Yeah, me neither. Here's hoping we both live long long lives and then die never having heard it.
God Damn, even the mention of Family fucking Circus pisses me off. What a fucking waste of ink and comic space. I wish those Boondocks kids would cap their asses - especially that bitchy little baby.

Swear words? What kind of show tunes do you listen too?

Why are you even listening to your kids anyway? I've said before and I'll say it again - scourges of the earth. The fact that they use such things as neener, neener, neener proves that once and for all.
Some of the soundtrack of Grease is slightly risqué, as are some of the songs from Hair. If you play the soundtrack of Annie backward it will tell you a) Paul is dead and b) what exactly a "dirty sanchez" is.
I don't think the greasers and hippies that bravely went before audiences would appreciate calling the music that defined their generation show tunes. If I recall correctly, in the movie version of "Annie", they actually demonstrate the dirty sanchez in the background. You see Albert Finney takes Annie and says something like "this finger is for" . . . wait, that was "Slut Lords '76", my bad.
No, that wasn't "Annie" or "Slut Lords '76", though that was a great and informative film. You're thinking of "Little Orphan Anal", the story of one mop-headed bi-active coed's search for her "daddy" with only her moxie and a considerable supply of lube to guide her.
For the comments regarding the lack of new swear words; your expectations are too high. I'm just delighted as all get out when my 3 year old uses her swear words in correct context! it's okay to lower the bar, honestly!
Thanks. I need the perspective. But just so you know, your message wasn't so controversial that you had to post it Anonymously.
I just taught my children to sing "Ta ra ra boom de ay, I'll take your pants away. And you'll be standing there. Without your underwear." I have no idea on god's earth why I did this.
My kids prefer to sing normal, non-taunting songs but replace key words with the word "butt". For instance, "Old McDonald had a butt". Squeals and peals of laughter and I don't have to work very hard.
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